Tunch Ilkin is a 1980 graduate of Indiana State University, where he was a member of the Sycamore football team from 1975 until 1979. He received his bachelor's degree in broadcast journalism.
He was a sixth-round draft choice of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Tunch played 13 seasons for the Steelers before signing with the Green Bay Packers after the 1992 season was complete. He later retired from football in 1993.
Tunch was a two-time selection to the Pro Bowl after the 1989 and 1990 seasons. He played in over 180 games for the Steelers, and was a part of the Pittsburgh teams that played in five AFC championship games.
At Indiana State he played several positions on both the offensive and defensive lines, finally settling in at Center. He was a three-time honorable mention All-Missouri Valley Conference selection.
After retirement from the NFL, Ilkin turned to the broadcast booth, where he has done both radio and television in covering the Steelers.